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Working with pot heads, should I change jobs?

kmb2006 Working with pot heads
Stan asked me to post this if I had time today.

He's having a hard time at work. He works as a mechanic at a small service station. Given his unstable work history, it was the best thing he could find on short notice.

He is a naturally large man. In the past couple months since he got clean, he's gained about 60 pounds, up to almost 300. It's causing him a lot of pain in his hips, back, and legs, especially since his job is so physical and requires him to be on his feet with his arms extended over his head most of the day.

So here's the dilemma...

The people he works with are all potheads, his boss included. They talk about it all the time. They know he's a recovering addict. Weed is first drug of choice - he's been smoking since he was a kid - and it's his obsession, it's what he struggles with the most. It's what he does in his using dreams. He knows it's not something he could ever do in moderation and is a very slippery slope back to meth, too. Weed is also what he's always used to control pain.

He comes home hurting and very cranky. Says he wishes he could just smoke a blunt like the other guys do. He knows he can't, but is honest about being very jealous and very tempted.

Now he's seriously considering looking for a different job, but that just adds more instability to his already shaky work record. He says he'd feel safer at a company that does drug tests for injuries or random testing, but that he has to get used to this because he's going to find it everywhere.

He's really just looking for opinions from other recovering addicts.

What would YOU do in this situation?

If you had been using illegal drugs for physical pain management, what helped you control pain after you quit?

Thanks for your help
RIP Re: Working with pot heads
Good Morning,
I would first try some ibuprofen or the like .
if this does not help i would go to the doctor. Tell the doctor he is an addict and that if he can get some meds for pain relief that are non-narcotic, Tordol is a good one.

if this does not help he could get some pain pills prescribed and you as his partner should administer these pills to him.

Hope this helps
Re: Working with pot heads
Well, I'd pray for that new job to come and in the mean time, Nuerotnin (non-narcotic) has helped a few addict friends with severe joint pain from injury and arthritis. Seemed to help immensely along with Ibuprofen and doesn't have many or any side effects.

I'll be praying for the new cleaner workplace for Stan
Re: Working with pot heads
I smoked since I was a kid to, it's hard.
.....there's a lot of observations to consider about quitting reefer.
...the cool dreams   the clear head....no "duh" hangovers.
every time he resists.......give him a dollar, and in a month, he'll have something BESIDES dope
the pot heads at work have to work on their own evolvement.
.......there's NO WHERE maryjane isn't
he's got to be stubborn with himself.
......or he could smoke and not do speed.  some people do.
Re: Working with pot heads
We're always going to have drugs and alcohol in our face, especially in the blue collar domain, this is where trigger management comes in handy.
Weight gain is par for the course, a LOT of weight, smoking pot is only going to put on MORE weight.
Our "recovery fat" will slowly go away if we're diet conscious and active, I dropped from #232 down to #210 in the past 6 months, a little less junk food and a little more physical activity
And who wants to be an air head and stumble around in pot induced doldrums? We've fought tooth and nail to get clean...finally!
To hell with the jealousy Stan, you're not missing a damn thing! Your co-workers are living under a hidden fog, missing out on *clarity of mind*...and they don't even know it.
The pot is tooo potent nowadays!
The weed IS medicine, and used moderately it has significant medicinal value, for specific ailments, typically, but not exclusively for the terminally ill.
I know a number of green card holders who smoke pot for pain and appetite stimulation rather than consuming drug store chemicals, the pills were eating their guts up, one of them is considering giving up the weed as his lungs are hurting from over doing it....and he's tired of being a dough head!
Another friend with emphysema and tied to an oxygen hose uses it for its expectorant qualities several times daily [sparingly] so he can breath.
I smoked the crap since I was a kid too [since 1967], if I had those years to do over...I'd do them without the weed!
I owe my Teflon brain, acute CRS and emotional retardation to 38 years of pot smoking, in retrospect it took WAAAAY more than it delivered.
Recent studies reveal over 450 chemicals found in pot smoke, incl. 8-10 known carcinogens and assorted insecticide residues.
It's not the harmless social denominator we'd like to believe it is.
Let it go Stan... and consider some other pain management options that won't fog your head, cause increased weight gain, leave you lethargic and send you slipping' back toward meth for a little "bump". 
kmb2006 Re: Working with pot heads
every time he resists...
....give him a dollar, and in a month, he'll have something BESIDES dope

Yeah, like a Lamborghini. 

Re: Working with pot heads
my husband is a mechanic- heavy equipment mechanic in his 40's- and also overweight.
He doesn't have the flexibility he once had.
His back has hurt for years- now his legs, his hips, his hands-
He too has used pot for "pain" management- but what I see is that while indeed in physical pain- more often than not it is for numbing emotional pain.
Not a good answer for him.

He has since gone to alcohol- but again, what I see - I hear that he complains more about how bad his back hurts when buzzing.
I see where he has more difficulty in breathing.
and well, I don't need to paint the rest of the picture- but no, it doesn't work.

Now, here is what does or could.
Stretching- seriously before you start your day, stretch it out.
As we age, I think our muscles become like cotton shirts in the dryer.
Do you remember in PE having to make like a tree with branches? Yeah- another trick is to put your arm straight out across your neck and lightly pull on the upper arm muscle- stretching it and hold for a bit- then release.
All of this is slow holding movements.
For the legs, push up against a wall- one knee bent, one leg stretched out- word of warning it hurts BUT you feel better afterwards. Just as sprint runners do.
Same exercise.

Bend over as far as you can to touch the floor- now it took forever for me to be able to touch the floor- but do it and hold.
That stretches the back out.
Feels good.

I know it is hard during the day- but if he would use the time they are taking for their blunt break to just sit and put his feet up, huge difference- mega better.
Real relief.

Good shoes- seriously good shoes.
Support socks- yes those old folks socks.

Advil will help with the pain of joints- really well- but no in my experience it does not work with muscle pain.
A hot shower and let it beat on your back helps.

Now this part you can do-
Massage- the lower back up- massage the legs.
Hubby's back stays so tight that I have to use a furniture wheel coaster on his most times.
I can take the wheel into the muscles deeper than my hands can squeeze-
then on weekends when he is behaving - as in coming to bed at a decent enough time, I can use lotion to really work into the muscles.

Elevating his feet is a must though for sure- and good shoes.

For the weight- Kristy, start cooking lighter- you know just putting more 2% milk instead of butter in the macaroni and cheese- bake instead of fry- and when you do fry, use canola oil.
Every where that you can make healthier meals, do so.
Fruits instead of cookies-
if you have to have cake, use applesauce instead of the oil.
And make it a habit to go for an evening walk together.
All of this will help - and work well for his issues.

If the pain continues - don't hesitate to see a doctor.
Hubby was prescribed Cymbalta for his chronic pain.
Probably would have worked well but he found out you couldn't take it AND drink- so it is getting dusty.
We still have it though- if the day comes when he for real is tired of the same old same old.
Loraura Re: Working with pot heads
He should go see his doctor, and then perhaps a pain management specialist, and also a dietician.

Rarely is anyone healthy at 300 pounds, and that kind of weight makes bones and joints hurt all the more.

Since he is recovering from meth addiction, I recommend a high protein, low carb/low sugar diet -- he should get his carbs from grains and fruit.

He needs the protein for his recovery from meth use.
kmb2006 Re: Working with pot heads
Thanks for the replies everyone. I told him the general jist of the messages and he'll read them tonight.

He's got an appointment with our family doc for next Friday. That'll be the starting point for referrals out to others.

As for nutrition and weight, we are getting much better with that. Right now, the problem isn't really quality, it's quantity. We're eating the right things... he's just eating a WHOLE LOT of the right things. I'm actually 15 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight just having cut out most of the junk food. He's new to recovery, so I'm sure food is a pacifier right now. Oh well... baby steps, right?

Loraura - The other day, you posted an eating plan for women on AM. Do you have something equivalent for men you could point me to? Your plan was nice because it didn't seem to about calories as much as it seemed to be about portion size and the timing of certain foods.
scorpio Re: Working with pot heads
First off, yes, if I were your husband, I would look for a new job.

Next, there are lots of alternatives to pain management besides pain medication. Ask your doctor, or chiropractor, about pain management programs.
Loraura Re: Working with pot heads
Loraura - The other day, you posted an eating plan for women on AM. Do you have something equivalent for men you could point me to? Your plan was nice because it didn't seem to about calories as much as it seemed to be about portion size and the timing of certain foods.
Protein 6 ounces (beef & pork 5 oz.) or 3 eggs
Starch/grain 1 cup ( z for potato)
Vegetable 1 cup
Fruit 6 ounces (include varying fruits, not just bananas and grapes, which have a high glycemic index.)
Dairy 1 cup (watch the yogurt for too much sugar! It should be equivalent to 1c of skim or 2% milk)
Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup
Oil 2 tablespoons

Note: Men may need to increase portion sizes to avoid rapid weight loss. Maintain balance between carbohydrate and protein when increasing portions.

For others interested, here's the women's portion sizes, and the daily allowances for men and women:

Protein 4 ounces, 2 eggs
Starch/grain 1 cup ( z for potato)
Vegetable 1 cup
Fruit 6 ounces (include varying fruits, not just bananas and grapes, which have a high glycemic index.)
Dairy 1 cup (watch the yogurt for too much sugar! It should be equivalent to 1c of skim or 2% milk)

Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup
Oil 1 tablespoon


1 fruit
1 protein
1 dairy
1 grain

1 protein
1 raw vegetable
1 cooked vegetable
1 starch or grain

Before Bed
1 fruit
1 dairy
1 fat

Daily Options
Spice 1 tablespoon
Condiments 1 ounce
Sweeteners 6 servings
Broth 1 cup

ABSTAIN FROM ALL HIGH FAT FOODS INCLUDING: Fried food, butter, sour cream, cream, cream cheese, dairy products over 2% fat, nuts, seeds. (I would make exceptions for him for nuts and seeds because they contain the precursors to dopamine, which he needs as a recovering meth addict.)

Consult with your physician before using this or any other food plan.

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